Taiwan Today: Taiwan’s flag flies at Paris Gay Games opening, Hong Kong pop star dies in fall

The Taiwanese athletes who have joined this year's Paris Gay Game, entered the venue at Stade Jean Bouin waving the ROC flag and a banner reading "The 1st Asian country to legalize equal marriage."

Taiwan’s flag flies at Paris Gay Games opening

The Republic of China (Taiwan) flag was waved during the colorful opening of the 2018 Gay Games in Paris Saturday, not just by the Taiwanese team but also by teams from other nations or areas that support Taiwan.

The Taiwanese athletes entered the venue at Stade Jean Bouin waving the ROC flag and a banner reading “The 1st Asian country to legalize equal marriage.”

The flag was also waved by some members of the French team and by a team from San Francisco.

Yang Chih-chun (楊智群), head of the Taiwanese team, said they had given several dozen ROC flags to French softball alliance members, who said they would fly the flag during the opening parade.

In addition, Yang went on, some other foreign groups had also asked for flags before the opening ceremony, saying that using the name “Taipei” does not show enough respect to people living in Taiwan, therefore they want to do something for them.

Held every four years, the Gay Games started in San Francisco in 1982. Since then, it has developed into an international sports and cultural event that promotes acceptance of sexual diversity, featuring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) athletes and artists.

Hong Kong pop star dies in fall

Hong Kong singer-songwriter Ellen Joyce Loo(盧凱彤), who was awarded Best Arrangement at the 28th Golden Melody Awards in Taipei last year, died in a fall from a building in Happy Valley, Hong Kong, Sunday. She was 32 years old.

Hong Kong police confirmed that Loo was found dead at the scene, according to media reports.

Loo’s death sent shock waves among fans in Taiwan, many of whom heaped words of condolence on the last post on her Facebook page created Aug. 2, in which she said she had decided to do something “big” for herself.

Loo was known for her impassioned advocacy of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) rights.

At the Golden Melody award presentation ceremony, Loo came out in her acceptance speech, dedicating the award for “Darling” from the album “Imperfections” to her wife Yu Jing-pin (余靜萍), a Taiwanese photographer. Loo and Yu registered their marriage in Canada in 2016.

Numbers show DPP good at economy: president

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) touted on Sunday economic upturn, lower unemployment rate, and rise in stock exchange index since she took office as evidence that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is more capable of growing the economy than the Kuomintang (KMT).

“The KMT has attacked us (the government) for economic sluggishness. Is the economy picking up? Everyone can look at the numbers. Numbers talk,” Tsai said when addressing DPP supporters at a campaign rally in Kaohsiung.

On the performance of gross domestic product (GDP) growth, Tsai said that Taiwan has seen continued growth of above three percent for four consecutive quarters, compared to an annual 0.8 percent before she came to office in May 2016. Taiwan’s economy grew 0.85 percent in 2015.

In terms of GDP growth, Tsai said that Taiwan has surpassed South Korea. “We are not in the last place among the four little dragons.”

The DGBAS’ data showed that the growth rate in the last fourth quarters since the third quarter last year was 3.10 percent, 3.28 percent, 3.04 percent, and 3.29 percent.